You thought Internet viruses and trip videos bugged you?

Thursday, 27 November 2003, 3:14 PM EST

Viruses. Worms. Trojan horses. Drive-by downloads. Adware. Spyware. Browser hijackers. Zombies. Spam.

These are the Nine Plagues of the Internet -- insidious assaults on our sanity, productivity and peace of mind. But it's only a matter of time till the Tenth Plague descends on us, and I predict it will eventually dwarf the others.

I'm talking about home movies.

That's right. How many of you have spent hours, bored to distraction, watching the entire gruesome record of some friend or relative's trip to Disney World? Or a three-hour epic video of little Jimmy's first birthday party? True, watching the lad stuff butter cream icing up his nose is amusing for a few minutes -- but slow-motion instant replay? With overdubbed music and color commentary?

It was bad enough in the 1980s, when videotape replaced 8 mm movies. Film, thankfully, came in three-minute reels that were expensive to buy and develop. So, the sheer volume of home movies anyone could be induced to watch was limited by technology and money.

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